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Mental health results in mass job losses

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Around 300,000 people in the UK are losing their jobs every year because of issues with mental health

Hundreds of thousands of people are facing unemployment each year due to poor mental health.

Statistics from the Department of Work and Pensions have revealed that 300,000 people with a long term mental health problem lose their jobs each year.

Analysis by Deloitte, commissioned as part of an independent review into workplace mental health, has found that poor mental health costs the UK economy between £74 billion and £99bn a year. The analysis shows that the cost to employers is between £33bn and £42bn of this number.

Drawing on the accounts of over 200 employers of people with mental health problems and leading experts in mental health and work, Thriving at Work sets out core principles and standards that all employers should commit to. It highlights examples of some employers who are taking positive and innovative steps to support the mental health of their employees.

The reviewers are calling on all employers, regardless of size or industry, to adopt six mental health core standards that lay the basic foundations for an approach to workplace mental health.

These cover mental health at work plans, mental health awareness for employees, line management responsibilities and routine monitoring of staff mental health and wellbeing. Large employers and the public sector are expected to go even further, demonstrating best practice through external reporting and designated leadership responsibility.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: “We found that in many workplaces, mental health is still a taboo subject and that opportunities are missed to prevent poor mental health and ensure employees who may be struggling get the support they need. In many instances employers simply don’t understand the crucial role they can play, or know where to go for advice and support.

“The human cost of failing to address mental health in the workplace is clear. Workplace mental health should be a priority for organisations across the UK. Every employer in the UK has a responsibility to support employees with mental health problems and promote the mental wellbeing of their entire workforce.”